How We Work

Child Centered, Tech & SDGs Focus, and Data Driven

Child Centered Design: 

We recognize the young Scholars who take part in OpenWise Learning are whole human beings and design our programs around their needs.  We work hard to give them a rigorous, joyful, culturally responsive and social emotional learning experience to make sure all Scholars are college and career ready for STEM fields. We learn directly from our Scholars as we immerse ourselves in their lives to more deeply understand their needs. We partner with families, school administrators, teachers, and communities to reinforce and deepen our instruction.

Technology & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Curriculum Focus:

The foundation of our STEM curriculum is technology, because knowledge of technology (data literacy, coding literacy, computational thinking, etc.) is revolutionizing every aspect of human life (Arts, Business, Law, Government, etc.); technology is used heavily in all domains of Science, Engineering and Math.  We use mastery of technology as a gateway for teaching other STEM knowledge and skills, preparing our young Scholars for collegiate STEM study or STEM careers.  Since openness and collaboration are part of OpenWise Learning’s core values we use Open Source Technologies in our instruction.

The foundation of our social justice curriculum is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN to transform our world to be more just, equitable and sustainable.  We use the goals as a jumping off point to examine issues like poverty, gender equality, income inequality, climate change & environmental racism, healthcare & education access, and criminal justice.

Data & Research Driven Innovation:

OpenWise Learning is an evidence-based, learning organization using data and proven research to make decisions. We collect and analyze data from a myriad of sources, including but not limited to: (1) administering periodic informal and formal evaluations of our Scholars, (2) partnering with parents and educators to track each Scholars academic performance, and (3) regularly surveying parents and Scholars.  We make use of data to continuously adapt, improve, and innovate to achieve the best outcomes for our Scholars.

Research has always been at the core of our organization.  Part of the inspiration for the creation of OpenWise was the work from a 30 year longitudinal study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers.  We vigilantly keep track of proven practices and observations in Education and Social Science research.  Whether it’s culturally responsive pedagogy , Social Emotional Learning (SEL) , CSTA Computer Science Standards , Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or insights from behavioral economics , we work to adapt standards and new methods in service of our Scholars needs.  We are proud to be members of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) , the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) , and the Johns Hopkins University Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa .


<- Why We Do It


Culturally responsive pedagogy is a student-centered approach to teaching in which the students' unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement and a sense of well-being about the student's cultural place in the world.

  1. What Is Culturally Responsive Pedagogy?
  2. Multicultural Science Education (book)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

  1. What is SEL?
  2. Emotional Learning

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) K–12 Computer Science Standards delineate a core set of learning objectives designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level. The standards have been written by educators to be coherent and comprehensible to teachers, administrators, and policy makers.

  1. CSTA  K-12 Computer Science Standards, Revised 2017
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are K–12 science content standards. The NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students. A goal for developing the NGSS was to create a set of research-based, up-to-date K–12 science standards.

  1. Next Generation Science Standards

Behavioral Economics a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behavior to explain economic decision-making.

  1. What Is Behavioral Economics?
  2. Behavioral economics of education
  3. Behavioral Economics in Education

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.

  1. American Educational Research Association (AERA)
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), founded in 1944, is the largest organization in the world committed to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

  1. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

Phi Delta Kappa International , founded in 1906, is a professional association for educators that brings together the top leaders, thinkers, and doers to collaborate and inspire one another.

  1. Phi Delta Kappa International